Chicago Booth MBA application includes the daunting task of using a 4 slides presentation to answer the following question “What have you not already shared in your application that you would like your future classmates to know about you?”
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to guide you through this Chicago MBA essay :

  1. Be Personal – this is the place to discuss your inner-child/artist/free spirit etc. Talk about the things you do with your spare time.
  2. Be creative – although the format is a described as 4 slides, no one mentioned that they have to be read like a deck of 4 slides – they can also be placed next to each other to form a bigger puzzle/poster etc.
  3. Be passionate – if you write in your resume that you are an “avid traveler”, “a passionate guitar player” etc this is the place to exhibit these passions.
  4. Be conscious of the visual design – it’s true, Chicago Booth MBA say “Slides will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas, not on technical expertise or presentation” however you want to make your slides look good – like any other professional presentation. Show them to someone with good visual taste. When in doubt – make it simple and use up a very limited number of colors (e.g. 3 or 4).
  5. Be easy on your audience – don’t overload the slides with text/images or make it complicated to understand what you were planning to do.


  1. Do not talk about your GMAT, GPA or employment gap – this is not place, if you have to discuss these issues use the optional essay.
  2. Don’t focus on your achievement – this is not the place to describe why that big project in 2008 was a success and earned you a promotion. These details should be included in the professional part of your Chicago MBA application (resume, essays 1, 2, and your recommendation)
  3. Don’t be too serious – yes, this is Business school application but you don’t have to talk only about your leadership ambition and career goals. This is the right avenue to talk about the lighter side of life and your personal life.
  4. Don’t leave it for the last second – this is going to take some energies and ideas and it’s hard to re-use and recycle material from other MBA application. The only one that resembles the Booth Essay is NYU’s Stern MBA essay no. 3 but the form at NYU is generic whereas here
  5. Don’t have a big notes file to along with this – Chicago says “You are welcome to attach a document containing notes if you feel a deeper explanation of your slides is necessary. However the hope is that your slide is able to stand alone and convey your ideas clearly.” Meaning – it’s better if you can get your message through just using the slides. That’s why it’s called the slides essay!

Some ideas for potential projects for this Chicago MBA challenge:

  • Phases in candidate’s life / life- cycle
  • Various aspects of your personality (e.g. the secret life of….)
  • a mini-calendar as relating to your MBA experience

If you have an idea and want to get some honest feedback or don’t have the slightest clue where to start email me now for a free evaluation of your slides idea.